design/development collaboration

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by russellmatsuo, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. russellmatsuo macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2010
    Hey everybody,
    I was just wondering if anyone knew of any communities where I can hook up with developers for collaborative projects. I'm a user experience/web & interaction designer and I have some ideas for rich media/social projects that I just don't have the coding experience to deliver myself. The final product would probably mostly be for portfolio sake, but also a profit share if it's monetized.

    Any ideas? There must be communities out there?
    If anyone here is interested you can see my portfolio at, but that omits my latest work which has been for with their new community and mobile products (can't add quite yet).

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
  2. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I can provide my (admittedly jaded) opinion as a designer / developer / educator who watches over these types of collaborations for a living.

    There was a great article by Erica Sadun (that I can't seem to locate now) that touched upon some of the issues you bring up in your post. To loosely paraphrase her: "ideas are cheap, implementation is hard". Often such collaborations wind up being rather asymmetric where developers often feel that designers don't pull their own weight on a project team over the life of the project.

    Understand that I fully see the value in UX/XD types of work, but not everyone does ( Google certainly doesn't :D ) and even when a team does value the designers role, their contributions are never going to be as primary to the project as the core engineering. Even in my own "design" business the developers are compensated at a significantly higher salary than design. I am sure you have seen this in your own work.

    If you have a "brilliant idea" you are better off paying a developer than collaborating with them. If you do collaborate, by the end of the collaboration the developer will essentially hold the lions share of intellectual property for the project (often including any patents) as they are the ones with ownership over any functional prototypes. And rightly so, they are the ones who were able to take an idea that existed only on paper and solved whatever problems needed to be solved to bring it to life.

    So, even though you may have come up with the project idea in the beginning, you may find that there is not much profit YOU get to share at the end!

    All that said, finding developers eager to build things is not hard. Most colleges and technical schools have lots of people with such skills... or, you can step over that wall between design and development and start building your own prototypes. Its the cheapest and safest way to shepherd your ideas into tangible form.

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